Trainer Tony Pike is looking forward to Saturday’s Karaka Million here at Ellerslie with leading contenders in both of the $1 million feature races.
Gr.1 Vodafone New Zealand Derby (2400m) candidate Tutukaka will tackle the Karaka Million 3YO Classic (1600m) while two-year-old filly Pacific Dragon, who was relegated from first in the Gr.2 Eclipse Stakes (1200m) at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day, is a leading contender for the DoubleTree by Hilton Karaka Million 2YO (1200m).
“We’ve got a few going to the big night at Ellerslie this coming weekend, including Tutukaka in the 3YO Classic,” Pike said.
“He has worked very well since his first up run at Ellerslie on New Year’s Day and will have the blinkers on this time.
“We probably were a touch too negative on him last time as he got too far back on a slow tempo and never really got into the race.
“The blinkers will sharpen him up and even though the mile is probably a little too short for him, I think his class can still take him a long way.
“We may also have The Landing in the race, but that will depend on if his rating can get him into the field or not.
“Pacific Dragon will gallop on Tuesday and then we will decide on whether she starts in the two-year-old race, while Rapid Falls will start in the Karaka Stayers Cup.”
TAB Bookmakers currently have Tutukaka as a $14 chance in the Karaka 3YO Classic, behind raging favourite On The Bubbles ($1.80), while Pacific Dragon is the $7 fifth favourite behind Wolverine ($3.40) for the Karaka Million 2YO.
Story c/– NZ Racing Desk